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April 20, 2017 04:59 PM

Lake County Recruiting Dive Team Members

A service that could save lives might return to a KELOLAND county before the end of the year. Just recently, the Lake County Commission gave the thumbs up to bringing back its dive team. 

As you may know, the county has major lakes and other bodies of water that draw in boaters and anglers each year. 

"Right now we have fully capable equipment to meet the mission, in terms of scuba gear," Emergency Manager Doug Huntrods said. 

The only thing the dive team rig needs now is the people. 

With the green light from the county commission, Huntrods is working on regrouping the county's dive team after it was disbanded last September. 

Right now, Huntrods says Minnehaha or Codington County would be called in the event of a rescue or recovery mission. 

"Really, it's just a matter of reforming and getting some people trained. There may be some that come in that are already trained," Huntrods said. 

As the name suggests, Lake County is a hotspot for water recreation, and that also drives up the need for a dive team.

"The boating activities are increasing. We have a number of ice fishing activities that go on throughout the winter. We feel that there's a need for it," Huntrods said. 

"I think it gives the residents and the people who travel through here a little more comfort to know that we do have some resources that are available to help in case of these emergencies," Lake County Sheriff Tim Walburg said. 

While there's still plenty of work to be done before the Lake County Dive Team is ready to respond, the wheels are in motion for a mission that could save lives. 

"If you don't have a capability, you have no way to rescue somebody. We understand, many times it's a recovery, not a rescue. But if you don't have the capability, you have no chance at a recovery," Huntrods said. 

In the past, Huntrods says the team typically responded to about one or two incidents a year. 

The goal is to have a fully-trained team by mid-September. 

The application for the dive team is now live on the county's website


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